> smaller Clandestine organisations would by necessary [sic] concentrate more power in fewer hands
I think that "by necessity" is not true here. A smaller organization can not do as much as a larger organization. Ok, a handful of people could stage a coup. Then what? They still need bodies for tax collecting, law enforcement, jailers for the secret prisons, whatever. Those people need information to do their jobs, which increases the circle size, etc, and we're back where we started.
Assange's insight into clandestine organizations as information networks that can be disrupted is profound. You get the choice between large, effective, and open; or small, ineffective, and clandestine.
> See ... on the advantages of keeping intelligence agencies small.
Excellent resources. For a counterpoint on the specific organization type we're discussing, governments, see libertarianism.
> I agree staging a coup is not the same as running a government. Not sure what you point here is.
You brought up coup as a potential consequence of tightened lines of communication and increased secrecy & concentration of power in a few hands. My point was that even in that hypothetical, in order to transition from coup to government you have to widen the circle again, dilute the power, and we're back to the large-ineffective paradigm again. Short term: maybe maybe consequences; long term: same old story.
> I can't think of a time when I've needed flowers in the next 90 minutes, but if you want flowers even in the next week, you tend to get gouged...
Exactly. I can't think of a time when I've needed flowers in 90 minutes, but I can think of a half a dozen times when I've wanted them same day, and at least a dozen or more when I've wanted them next day without paying a gigantic surcharge.
> Three government officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said the number would be substantially higher if it included other NSA operating units and regional collection centers.
I remember in 2002 I was watching a movie in a London theater, and the lights went dark, and the movie was just about to start, and... that Nokia sound went off. The entire theater groaned, "AWWWWWW". And then, another went off, and another, and several more, until it was an absolute cacophony of Nokia sounds.
Then the Nokia logo came on screen, accompanied by the words, "Please silence your cell phones."
The groans turned into sincere chuckles.
That was one of the earliest pre-movie reminders, and still one of the best. And it only worked (full circle here), because that Nokia sound was so iconic.
He released the executable at the end of the series, and I'm still sad that, as a non-programmer, I couldn't get it to run on my computer. I would have loved to have a chance to explore the world. Some of his screencaps are mindblowing.
Oh, "internet memes," such pesky things! Why, every time there's a new Chuck Norris joke there are congressional hearings and amendments being debated! Such trouble! And remember that last time someone posted a cute cat video, and congresspeople made statements left and right (some of them even validating what the cat video said)?
My my, what trouble those "internet memes" get us into.
You sure did a lot there to avoid refuting his point (and avoid saying anything substantial, I might add). His point is that the actual abuse hasn't been documented, and they surely wouldn't do it in such a silly way as this article suggests if they were abusing it in this manner.
EDIT: I do believe there's a difference between the potential for abuse and actual abuse. But I further believe the potential for abuse from global surveillance is so significant that even the potential is a dire problem in its own right. I was a bit too flippant about that distinction above.
It does make you wonder about the reporting rate on these sorts of events.
Considering the hostile skepticism on the thread about the article Ms Catalano posted, I would not be surprised if other people (especially those without professional writing credentials and a million-strong twitter audience) had decided not to come forward with their stories in the past.
Was the same level of skepticism shown when the government claimed that Snowden was lying? Why not?
Why is it that a private citizen is automatically doubted when they make a claim that is easily verifiable but when the government makes a claim that has been repeatedly contradicted by multiple people over the span of years, including at least two sitting US Senators, the government's claims are taken at face value?
Shouldn't her story get a minimum benefit of doubt until some independent reporting can be done on the claims? Especially when everything she claims is plausible given what is known about the government's capabilities.
it also makes you wonder if the interrogees still get treated with kid gloves when they aren't relatively well off people with access to money (and therefore lawyers) and large publications/audiences with which to complain.
Except the Atlantic Wire article states that both the FBI and the JTTF denied visiting the house.
FBI spokesperson Peter Donald confirmed The Guardian's report that the FBI was not involved in the visit itself. Asked if the FBI was involved in providing information that led to the visit, Donald replied that he could not answer the question at this point, as he didn't know.
We asked if the Suffolk and Nassau police, which The Guardian reported were the authorities that effected the raid, are part of the government's regional Joint Terrorism Task Force. They are, he replied, representing two of the 52 agencies that participate. He said that local police are often deputized federal marshals for that purpose — but that the JTTF "did not visit the residence." He later clarified: "Any officers, agents, or other representatives of the JTTF did not visit that location."
Who said it was suspicionless? That's just the author's assertion. They could have been targeted for some other reason (the frequent overseas travel for example) and then the searches came up when they were already being targeted.
Yes that does make it better. If the FBI are calling around to people, purely based on google searches that's terrible. If they are calling around to people based on a whole pile of other things that might be suspicious that's much better.
We know that the local police visited her house, and that the FBI knew about it.
I don't think I'm being unreasonable in trusting the author that the officers said they were with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is one of a few plausible ways the FBI would know about local PD activity.
Her credibility on the big fact is established. What are we missing, then? The details on what the questions were? Whether or not they were asked about their Google history? Where the intel came from?
The Guardian quote is incredibly weaselly (when ellipses appear in a quote it's a good sign that liberties are being taken). The same person stated that no one from the JTTF visited her house in any capacity, which includes police involved in the same.
So thus far -- assuming that the police aren't lying -- we've gone from terrorism task force visit caused by Google searches (that they do "100s of", apparently), to maybe, possibly, some local police visited her for some reason.
Kid's going to have a tough time getting hired now.
Not only did he make the mistake of shaming a customer online, a poor customer service practice in and of itself, but he went on to repeat that same mistake by writing an entirely unapologetic article about it.
Why would I want to hire someone that doesn't know how to bite his tongue? He seemingly lacks any of the necessary social mores for interacting with even moderately challenging customers, a skill I've seen better mastered in your average drive-through window.
I was wondering about that, but (thankfully for him) he seems to share his name with a Irish comedian. All he probably has to do is leave that job off his resume and it won't be particularly google-able.